Argentina is one of the top gastronomic destinations in the Americas, and it truly has it all. A booming craft beer scene complements the world-class wine. The steaks are the culinary headliner, but that’s just the start. You’ll find delicious empanadas, milanesas, and choripan among other tasty foods. It’s a great country for cheap eats, and there is also no shortage of high-end dining experiences. Here are 10 of the best restaurants in Argentina!
1. Fogón Asado, Buenos Aires
If you’re looking to splurge on a dinner, this is the place to do it. 20 guests sit around the kitchen and learn about the tradition of asado while sipping on bottomless wine. The seven-course menu is fantastic at every step, and it’s the perfect introduction to Argentinian cuisine.
The mouth-watering tasting menu includes all the classics like empanadas, provoleta, chorizo, and steak. To top it off, the setting makes for a great environment to meet other travelers. The dining experience is reservation only and you’ll want to book in advance.
2. Doña Argentina Espacio Cultural, Cafayate
Although it doesn’t top the list of best restaurants, my award for the best steak in Argentina goes to this restaurant in the small town of Cafayate. Their tender, juicy ribeye sent me straight to heaven. It’s a steak that’s so perfect it doesn’t require any chimichurri. For the true Salteña experience, arrive for dinner at 10 PM for the peña, a traditional dinner party with music, dancing, and wine.
3. El Boliche de Alberto, Bariloche
The restaurants in Patagonia left a lot to be desired, but the resort town of Bariloche is the exception. The city’s most famous restaurant is known for having exceptional steaks, and it did not disappoint. It’s so popular that I hopped in line 15 minutes before it opened and got one of the last tables. Given its popularity and quality, the prices are surprisingly low.
4. Casa Vigil, Mendoza
Wine and gourmet restaurants are what attract travelers to Mendoza, and Casa Vigil combines the best of both worlds. The upscale restaurant at a bodega offering a 3-course tasting menu and bottomless wine is a must-visit. With tremendous food, world-class wine, and quality service, there’s nothing not to love about Casa Vigil. The restaurant is surrounded by vineyards, and their patio is a wonderful place to spend a few hours.
5. Parrilla La Estancia, Ushuaia
The remoteness of southern Patagonia doesn’t lend itself to culinary excellence, but this parrilla (steakhouse) is a gem. Ushuaia’s most popular restaurant is a fun dining experience with fabulous food. All-you-can-eat menus don’t always entail high quality, but their flank steak and lamb empanadas are up there with the best.
The dapper, silver-haired waiters cruise the restaurant making sure the diner’s plates are never empty. Plus, the prices are very reasonable for white tablecloths and high-quality meat.
6. El Cuartito, Buenos Aires
When I think of Argentinian pizza, three things come to mind. it’s heavy, cheesy, and there’s a laundry list of options at every pizzeria. El Cuartito is one of Buenos Aires’ longest-running parlors and the pictures of cultural icons that line the walls give it a retro feel. Whether you go with a traditional fugazetta or a napolitana, you’ll leave with a full stomach and a big smile.
7. La Sala de Maridajes, Mendoza
Keeping to the theme in wine country, we’re back at a restaurant that pairs wine and gourmet cuisine. The name translates to “the pairing room”, and their intimate terrace is a wonderful place to spend the night. It has a very relaxed vibe, and the wine and tapas are fantastic.
8. Dondera La Fonda, Bariloche
This long-standing restaurant with a cozy vibe might just serve up the best milanesas in the country. By my count, they have 19 variations of milanesa on the menu, but the Napolitana reigns supreme. The heavenly combination of breaded beef, tomato sauce, ham, and cheese hits the spot after a day of hiking. As is the case with any popular restaurant in Bariloche, get there early or you won’t get a table.
9. Comedor Club IME, Córdoba
The atmosphere at this no-frills parrilla is as much a reason to visit as the steak. It’s the neighborhood joint where you take the family on the weekends for the big portions and modest prices. It’s a bit noisy and crowded, but the food is tasty and it’s an authentic experience. In a heavily touristed country, this is one of the few places I ate where the staff was intrigued to see a foreigner.
10. La Cocina, Buenos Aires
Argentina’s empanadas are far superior to those you will find on the rest of the continent. They aren’t greasy, the dough isn’t flaky, and there are a variety of fillings. The modest La Cocina cooks up some of the best you’ll find in Buenos Aires, and many tourists find themselves coming back for seconds.
That wraps up the list of 10 of the best restaurants in Argentina! There are a couple of things to keep in mind when dining out in Argentina. The service is slower because Argentines have a more relaxed attitude towards time. Even at the best restaurants in Argentina, it can take 2 hours to get in and out. Also, restaurants start to fill up around 9 PM because the locals eat dinner later in the night.